Salles, Coppola finally hit ‘The Road’

Stewart, Riley to star in adaptation of Kerouac's novel

PARIS — After numerous false starts, Walter Salles and Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s 1957 cult novel, “On the Road,” is finally on the path to production.

Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley (“Control”) and Garrett Hedlund (“Tron: Legacy”) will topline, with shooting due to start in August.

French producer MK2 will exec produce the $25 million pic, which has long been a passion project of Salles and Coppola, who acquired the rights three decades ago.

Riley will play Kerouac’s alter ego, Salvatore Paradise, Hedlund is Dean Moriarty while Stewart will play his on-and-off wife, Marylou.

Coppola will produce via his San Francisco-based American Zoetrope. Salles’ Rio de Janeiro-based Videofilmes and the U.K.’s Film4 will co-produce.

Salles, who will direct, reunites with the creative team behind “The Motorcycle Diaries,” including Los Angeles Film Fest director Rebecca Yeldham, who will produce, scribe Jose Rivera, d.p. Eric Gautier, production designer Carlos Conti and composer Gustavo Santaolalla.

Nathanael Karmitz and Charles Gillibert will produce for MK2, which will also handle international sales.

In the long haul to getting “On the Road” to the screen, Salles travelled across the U.S. in Kerouac’s footsteps and gathered enough material for a documentary, “In Search of On the Road,” which is in production.

Salles presented an hour of footage featuring interviews with Beat poets and characters from the book at the San Francisco film fest in April.

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